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Senator John McCain Visits Baghdad


U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain is making a visit to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi and U.S. officials.

This is McCain's eighth trip to Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and his first since he became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee.

The U.S. embassy in Baghdad says McCain arrived in the Iraqi capital Sunday but released few details of his visit because of security reasons. Iraq is McCain's first stop on a weeklong trip that will also take him to Jordan, Israel, Britain and France.

McCain has been a strong supporter of President Bush's strategy of sending tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq to reduce violence in the country.

Meanwhile, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the country's top-ranking Democrat, called today for a responsible, honorable and safe redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq.

Speaking on ABC television, she said such a process could take a year, but must begin because the Iraqi government has, in her words, made only "meager" progress in national reconciliation.

In other developments, Iraqi officials say fighting erupted Sunday between Shi'ite militants and Iraqi police in the northern province of Diyala. They say seven people were killed in a battle near the town of Baquba.

Also today, officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up in the northern city of Mosul, wounding at least nine people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.